by Damian Collins – REIWA President https://reiwa.com.au/
REIWA welcomes the 2019-20 Federal Budget handed down by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Wednesday 2 April, which predicts a budget surplus of $7.1 billion by the end of the 2019-20 financial year. REIWA President Damian Collins said the country’s improved fiscal position was a good indicator of economic recovery and he hoped WA would not be overlooked by the Federal Government.
“For too long WA has been a mere afterthought of our federal political parties. The country’s improved financial position presents the Federal Government with a good opportunity to increase its investment in Western Australia and help our local economy recover and prosper,” Mr Collins said. In addition to the projected surplus, the budget includes no changes to property taxes or increases to taxes at all.
“This is welcome news for real estate agents, particularly those operating as a small business who can take advantage of the increase to the instant asset write-off threshold to $30,000. This budget also provides tax relief for those earning less than $126,000, which is welcome news as well as a change in the tax rate to 30 cents in every dollar for those earning between $45,000 and $200,000 from 2024,” Mr Collins said.
“The Federal Government has also recommitted to the Perth City Deal, which REIWA welcomes and is a key advocacy component of the Institute’s 2019 federal election campaign. It is imperative that the Perth City Deal be a priority in 2019-20. Perth has waited more than two years for its City Deal that will provide additional funding for METRONET and other projects that will provide local jobs.”
While overall, the 2019-20 Federal Budget is positive, REIWA is disappointed with the decision to cut overseas migration from 190,000 to 160,000 annually over the next four years. “This policy is aimed at reducing congestion and overcrowding in cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Western Australia on the other hand has seen a decline in overseas migration but needs migrants to fill demand for housing, increase housing construction, create jobs and stimulate economic growth,” Mr Collins said.
“Any plans to cut migration on a national level will further hamper the recovery of the WA economy and property market. REIWA would like to see Perth back on the Regional Migration Scheme to ensure we have the population to support a strong property market and wider economy,” he said.
The Federal Government has also pledged a total of $40 billion to national infrastructure projects, however WA has only been assigned $1.6 billion of this funding.
“WA has yet again failed to receive its fair share of funding. Our state is home to 10% of all Australians and we produce almost 15% of the country’s economic output, so we should receive at least the same percentage in federal infrastructure funding,” Mr Collins said.
REIWA will continue to advocate for a fair share for WA of federal funding, as well as a commitment from the Federal Government to provide funding for the states and territories to conduct a feasibility study into abolishing stamp duty.